I bought this book as a joke, an afterthought, just because I’d already spent twenty minutes in the dusty Prenzlauer Berg used book store where the salespeople were playing Warcraft in the corner. “Kinski’s always good for a laugh,” I figured, and forked over my three Euros. Little did I know that the joke would blossom into a full-fledged obsession. I’d grown up with an idea of Kinski based mainly on the German TV shows I saw during the 80s: Gottschalk, talk shows. Whenever Kinski was on (and he seemed to be on a lot), he could be counted on to rave and rant and make a public spectacle of himself.
We watched Woyzek in high school, and it freaked me out. Since, I’ve seen Aguirre, Fitzcarraldo, Nosferatu, and countless of the two hundred B pictures, Edgar Wallace and Karl May adaptations he appears in, and Herzog’s mean-spirited My Best Fiend. Still, Kinski’s artistry seemed to consist of Kinski just being Kinski, a megalomaniac who could outcrazy everybody on screen because he was a madman offscreen, too.
No longer. I can’t say that I understand him after reading his outrageous, boundless autobiography, but at least it’s possible now to imagine what the world looked like from inside Kinski’s head. As he puts it, everything about him was too too: he felt too much, loved too intensely, reacted too quickly, fought too viciously; a raging, fucking, screaming beast of a man whose emotions were too close too the surface, whose appetites where too ravenous, who had no sense of proportion. Put him in a TV studio and ask him idiotic questions about his international success or the endless bad movies he appeared in, and he would show his disdain, question the intention of the hosts and refuse to answer. He talks too quickly and he pounces too early, but you can’t deny that he has a point.
Rewatch his films, and you can see it there, right on the surface: every twitch of his soul is written on an unbearably intense face, threatening, seductive, almost too alive. The agony, the joy, the madness–if our senses weren’t so dull compared to his, we would appear mad, too. It’s no surprise that before the backdrop of mid-20th century German mainstream culture, a creature as fearless as Klaus Kinski should seem completely nuts.
Next: Kinski’s last film, Paganini, which he wrote and directed.
- Kinski at Wikipedia
- English editions of Kinski Uncut/All I Need is Love are unavailable or rare
- Klaus Kinski at IMDb
- Guide to Kinski
- Kinski Blog
- The Many Faces of Klaus Kinski – David Thomson in American Film, 1980.
- Ich brauche Liebe bei Amazon.de
- Kinski Seiten auf Deutsch
- Kinski bei Wikipedia.de
- Literatur von und über Klaus Kinski im Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek
- Hommage an Klaus Kinski
- kinski.de – Offizielle Kinski-Seite
- Kinski-Diskussions-Seite auf kinski-uncut.de.vu
- „Narziss und Erdbeermund“, Jens Hinrichsen im “film-dienst” zu Kinskis 80. Geburtstag
- WDR-Podcast (mp3) über Kinskis Leben (6.3 MB)
- Bildergalerie im stern
- „Kinski als Heiland: Schnauze halten zum Evangelium“, FAZ, 26. Oktober 2006, mit Bildergalerie
- Klaus Kinski Filmografie
- Kinski on Münchenhagen – TV talk show in German, no subtitles. Great outfit and above-average discussion
- Kinski Interview – he’s obviously right
- Na Sowas! – Kinski with Thomas Gottschalk, with English subtitles
- Kinski at Cannes – lashing out out reporters during a press conference
- NDR Talkshow – Kinski makes it abundantly clear that Alida Gundlach’s body is the only reason he’s on the show. In German, no subtitles.
Finally: Kinski reads Villion. In the 50s and 60s, he filled sports stadiums doing these monologues. Here’s one of the most famous bits, “Ich bin so wild nach deinem Erdbeermund.”:01.
[tags]klaus kinski, actors, artists, biography, autobiography, books, youtube, audio, sex, linkfest, german, 5 stars[/tags]